February 23, 2023

Best Practices in Brand Reputation Management

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The constantly evolving nature of consumer behavior online makes it easy for anyone to have brand conversations anytime, anywhere. This makes brand reputation management a major priority for companies looking to not only attract more customers; but to retain them in the long run for continued company growth and success.

With the right tools, crafting a positive brand reputation can inspire consumer confidence, foster loyalty, and drive bottom-line growth. On the other hand, a negative brand reputation can drive prospects away and lead to the loss of existing customers.

If your business performance hasn’t matched expectations, it may be useful to check up on your reputation and see how customers talk about and perceive your brand. It’s also a good idea to see where you stand in terms of brand awareness and reputation.

To better understand how to craft the right brand reputation management strategy, it’s important to examine the qualities or characteristics that lead to higher customer retention and continued brand success overall.


Brand Reputation Management: Best Traits

What does a positive brand reputation look like? How do you know if your efforts are delivering the right kind of results for your brand? Here are some common qualities found in companies with effective brand reputation management strategies:

Strong Thought Leadership and Expertise

Think of your favorite brands. More likely than not, they’re seen as experts in their space because of their prominence, authority, and influence.

With brand reputation management, you can demonstrate thought leadership and serve as a go-to resource to whom people look for insight and answers to their questions.

Brands with a great reputation are also featured consistently in news and business publications, social media channels, and trade outlets. They are also often more successful in securing speaking engagements, lead-generating publicity, and award opportunities.

High-Quality Search and Online Presence

Effective brand reputation management helps your exposure by making it easier for consumers to find your company as a trusted resource that provides valuable information. It also influences local SEO performance, giving your brand the opportunity to connect with a targeted audience in areas where they have business locations.

For best results, the improved presence comes from having a local listing management system in place. This allows the company to easily ensure consistency across multiple online listings, optimize visibility for local and “near me” searches, and outrank the competition.

Another factor can also be the use of reputation management software to ensure that online reviews and customer feedback are effectively managed, thus minimizing the risk of damaging your brand reputation.

Why is this important? Search engines don’t prioritize brands with a negative reputation. Typically, what you will see at the top of search engine results pages are results for high-quality businesses with a solid reputation. The same goes for online news outlets, social media, online forums, blogs, and local business directories.

Healthy Social Media Following

Brand reputation management can also drive social media presence and engagement levels.

Think of it this way: would consumers take the time to like, follow, retweet, or engage with a brand with a bad reputation? Probably not. Instead, they like, love, follow, and subscribe to brands that are held in high regard and respected by other consumers.

Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Linkedin, brands with an excellent reputation often have rapidly growing communities of social media fans and followers. They’re engaging, trustworthy, and accessible. They’re also more likely to be able to make authentic connections with customers than brands with a negative reputation.

Read more about the relationship between social media and reputation management.

Great Reviews and Ratings

Brands with a great reputation also typically have an attractive presence on business review websites.

No company has perfect reviews and ratings — and aiming for the perfect 5-star rating is less than ideal for any brand. But if you’re managing the reputation of your brand the right way, you should be able to consistently get positive reviews and ratings on sites like Google, Yelp, Facebook, and Tripadvisor, among others. Having a large collection of rave reviews and high ratings from recent customers will also push your brand to the top of search results and business directories.

Brands with a rock-solid reputation are also highly responsive to any and all feedback, regardless of the customer’s sentiment. Their teams have a system in place where they know how to respond to negative reviews and positive feedback with great effect. These companies and team realize the importance of review response on a brand’s online reputation now and in the future.

Brand Reputation Management: Best Practices

All of these qualities exist in successful brands with a well-managed reputation, albeit in different forms, and they can work for your company as well in a way that suits your team’s needs and expectations. Here’s how to get started.

Effectively Manage and Optimize Online Listings

Brand consistency is even more important in the digital landscape. Incorrect operating hours, an outdated phone number, or even a missing website URL on your online listing means lost consumers that could have been longtime fans of your products.

By utilizing ReviewTrackers’ local listing management features, you can ensure that your team is on top of ongoing changes to your brand information online. With a few clicks, your team can update vital information that consumers use to get a better understanding of your brand and its offerings. Reducing friction in this regard goes a long way to earning consumer trust and making the researching process easier and quicker for the consumer looking for differentiators between you and the competition.

Manage and Respond to Reviews

Responding to reviews is a key component of any brand reputation management strategy, and brand perceptions immediately improve when customers who reviewed your company hear back from you.

Check out these stats on customer reviews:

  • 94% of consumers say a bad review has convinced them to avoid a business.
  • 53% expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week.
  • 63% say that a business has never responded to their review.
  • 45% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a business that responds to negative reviews.

Using powerful and easy to use reputation management software such as ReviewTrackers can help teams and the brand at-large achieve goals and satisfy customers. Having unlimited seats for the platform means that you can assign a small team or an entire department to effectively ask for reviews with the Ask Tool, assign and triage recent feedback to specific members, or use custom templates that allow your team to create branded responses that resonate with users after their purchase.

Another viable tactic when asking for feedback is to ask for a review with photos. Research shows that customers who left a photo along with their review used more characters in their feedback, which in turn, received more attention from consumers looking at a handful of reviews from a specific brand.

In other words, reviews with photos contain more detail, which can help your team improve the experience, and receive more attention from consumers, which can easily convince consumers to make a purchase. The ReviewTrackers Photos features allows you to see each photo included in a review across multiple listings, making it easier to manage and highlight feedback to your team.

Analyze the Customer Experience Through Reviews

Before you can influence consumers’ perceptions and behavior, make an effort to first understand them. What is their experience like, viewed entirely from their perspective?

You can easily decipher the true customer experience through reviews. Taking advantage of customer experience analytics software within ReviewTrackers can yield powerful insights. With the help of natural language processing, Experience Analysis can classify keywords trends in a positive or negative sentiment category. This allows your team to easily see certain terms like “wait staff” or “cleanliness” as markers for a positive or negative experience.

Over time, the amount of keyword sentiment data can be the basis for an impactful operational change that satisfies current and future consumers and shows your brand’s willingness to listen to feedback.

Add Reviews to Your Brand Website

Reviews serve as valuable social proof to inspire confidence and trust in your brand, and they are more likely to steer the consumer towards a purchase decision. Reviews also help build a high-quality search presence, one of the key characteristics of a positive brand reputation. Reviews influence your brand’s search ranking by improving on-site content density, increasing triggers for search engine crawlers, and improving ranking for long-tail searches and branded searches.

With this in mind, your team should utilize your brand’s reviews to increase online visibility and appeal to consumers. Tools like ReviewTrackers’ Amplify tool allow you to easily showcase reviews on a dedicated page or even as a widget. Implementing the tool in high-traffic areas on your site can be the final push the consumer needs to make a purchase.

Grow Your Content Marketing Efforts

Your brand reputation is shaped largely by how consumers perceive you, but you have to resist the notion that there is nothing you can do about it. One tactic that can benefit any brand is content marketing.

A valuable part of any brand reputation management strategy, content marketing helps stimulate consumer interest in your brand.

This means creating, publishing, and sharing different types of content — blog posts, whitepapers, ebooks, infographics, photos and videos, social media posts, etc. — designed to educate and engage your audience while also positioning your brand as a thought leader and expert.

Instead of focusing on promotional content, aim to provide solutions to common problems. Give your audience something of value, without being over-promotional.

If you represent a bank or financial institution, for example, your content marketing efforts can revolve around how to invest wisely, or how to practice online banking safety. If you’re a healthcare provider, you can talk about healthy living, fitness and diet options, and healthcare news and trends.

Nurture Loyal Customers and Brand Advocates

To positively impact your brand reputation, you’ll need to develop relationships with your loyal customers and brand advocates. They play a crucial role in vouching for you, building hype for your brand, and driving their peers to your business.

Don’t hesitate to nurture and engage with existing customers. Use a social listening tool to track where their conversations are taking place. Reach out to them through email campaigns or surveys and ask for their feedback. Empower them to showcase your business and recommend you to others. Remember: loyal customers and advocates can transform your brand reputation. Be proactive in building your relationship with them.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of the industry, brand reputation management is crucial to long-term business growth.

With the best practices above, your team can protect and strengthen the reputation of your brand by managing online reviews, leveraging content marketing to engage consumers, focusing on customer experience, and nurturing your brand advocates. These best practices will ensure that your reputation as a customer-centric brand will grow, making you irresistible to customers and prospects.

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